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Colorado Teachers and

Education Policy Trends


Independent Teachers Fellowship
July 22, 2009
Take Your Pick… Let’s Discuss
 TELL Educator Survey Results
 Merit-Based Pay: Federal Policy, Local Innovation
– “Rock star” Teachers?
 Alternative Teacher Certification (SB 160)
 New Standards & Graduation Competencies
 Innovation Schools / School-Level Autonomy
 School Finance Redesign / WSF
 Financial Transparency
 Local-Only Unions
TELL Educator Survey Results
 http://www.tellcolorado.org
– 23,000 responses out of 60,000 (36%)
 Aggregate ratings (1 to 5)
– School-community relationships (3.76)
– Student, teacher influences on learning (3.71)
– Instructional, technological resources (3.64)
– Quality professional development (3.43)
– School leadership and empowerment (3.34)
– Instruction / planning / collaboration time (2.89)
– Teacher role in decision-making (2.83)
 What interests you in statewide survey results?
Merit-Based Pay
 Federal Policy (U.S. Dept of Education)
– Bush / Spellings: Teacher Incentive Fund
– Obama / Duncan: Race to the Top
 State Policy
– Innovative Growth Model: New Possibilities
– Teacher Identifier (and limited usage)
 Local Innovations in Merit-Based Pay
– Denver ProComp 2.0 & Eagle County TAP 2.0 (
http://www.i2i.org/articles/IP_5_2007.pdf)
– Charter School Innovations (
http://www.ediswatching.org/2009/07/new-denver-kipp-scho
)
Merit-Based Pay: “Rock Star” Teachers?

 Goldwater Institute Report (S Korea / Japan):


$100,000+ salaries using value-added merit pay
– Identifying and promoting “master teachers”
– Larger class sizes w/apprentices, aides
– http://www.ediswatching.org/2009/06/discuss-the-rock-star-t
http://www.ediswatching.org/2009/06/discuss-the-rock-star-

 Equity Project Charter School (NYC)


– New York Times (June 4, 2009): $125,000 / yr teachers,
including Ivy League “superstars” & Kobe Bryant’s
personal trainer
 What are advantages & disadvantages?
Alternative Teacher Certification
 Senate Bill 09-160: Opening more doors?
– Dictating inputs vs. Dictating outputs
 Example programs
– Teach for America: Younger candidates, targeting at-risk student
environments
– ABCTE: Mid-career changers, rigorous content
– http://www.ediswatching.org/2009/06/are-more-teacher-licensure-altern

 Douglas County Learning Center


– Waivers: Local program to fill high needs, unique areas
– http://www.i2i.org/files/pdf/IP_6_2008-web.pdf
 Is having more paths of entry into the teaching profession
helpful or harmful?
Standards & Graduate Competencies

 CAP4K legislation (2008)


– Graduate competencies approved in June
– How much focus should be given to
“Postsecondary & Workforce Readiness”?
 Academic standards being overhauled
– Social Studies (yours truly)
 How important are academic standards?
 How good are the current standards?
Innovation Schools & Autonomy
 Innovation Schools Act (SB 08-130)
– School, schools, or district may submit plan
– May pursue flexibility in curriculum, program, assessment, budget,
staffing
 Denver-centric? Montclair & Manual approved by State
Board in 2009
– http://www.ediswatching.org/2009/03/celebration-widesprea
)
– Cole Arts & Sciences next? (
http://blog.ednewscolorado.org/?p=2773)
– Adams 50 innovation (
http://www.ediswatching.org/2009/05/all-eyes-including-mine-on-radical
)
 How could your school benefit as Innovation School?
School Finance Redesign
 School Finance Act almost took a new turn during
this year’s session
 Interim School Finance Committee discussing
redesign of how to fund schools
– Money follow student (esp. for at-risk)
– How to attach $$ for performance (Centers of
Excellence idea)
– Change enrollment counts?
– http://blog.ednewscolorado.org/?p=2582
 Should state & local funding follow the student?
Should money reward successful improvement?
Financial Transparency
 For School Districts & Charter Schools
– Using web-based technology to provide citizens easy
access to expenditure-level data
– SB 09-057: Passed Senate, killed in House
– “If you can’t defend it, don’t spend it” AND “No
taxation without information”
– Momentum … the issue will return in 2010
– http://transparency.i2i.org
– http://www.i2i.org/main/article.php?article_id=1579
 What should school financial transparency look
like?
Changes in Teacher Representation
 Options available to teachers locals
– NEA- or AFT-affiliated bargaining agent
– Decertification, local bargaining union
– Non-union employee association (Colo.)
– Faculty senate or personnel committee
 Decert: Ullin, IL (2007) & Riley, KS (2009)
– Unknown in Colorado … so far
– http://www.independentteachers.org/local-only-union-option

 Should teacher representation model change?


Can it change?
Financial Transparency
 For Public Employee Unions (e.g., CEA)
– Removing loophole in federal law that keeps state-level
union finances hidden
– Limited federal enforcement recouped millions in
restitution to private union members
– Accountability to members and taxpayers
– Solution needed at state government level
– http://www.ediswatching.org/2009/07/is-transparency-for-tea

 Is union financial transparency a worthwhile


cause?
 What of interest in statewide teacher survey results?
 Merit Pay / Rock Star Teachers: What are the
advantages and disadvantages of this approach?
 Is having more paths of entry into the teaching
profession helpful or harmful?
 How important are academic standards? What is your
experience with Colorado’s standards?
 Could your school benefit as an Innovation School?
What about the idea do you like / not like?
 Should state & local funding follow the student?
Should money reward successful improvement?
 What should school financial transparency look like?
 Is union financial transparency a worthwhile cause?
 Should teacher representation model change? Can it?
Find Us Online

 http://IndependenceInstitute.org
 http://EdIsWatching.org
 http://IndependentTeachers.org
 http://SchoolChoiceforKids.org
 Facebook.com: Colorado Independent Teachers

Contact Me: Ben DeGrow, ben@i2i.org, 303-279-6536